New Catholic league should pursue Butler
by Mike Lopresti, USA TODAY Sports
INDIANAPOLIS – New Big East, you remember Butler. Send an application form. Fast.
Word is, the seven Big East evacuees are starting up a new basketball league and looking for suitable fresh recruits. Maybe they were watching what the Bulldogs did to top-ranked Indiana Saturday.
Butler with the upset. Where have we heard that one before?
This time, it was dumping the Hoosiers in overtime. The Bulldogs didn’t even do that – beating a No. 1 team — back in the dreamy Final Four days of 2010 and 2011.
But Saturday had Butler’s fingerprints all over it. As gritty as it was inexplicable. The Bulldogs survived with three key players fouled out, and the winning basket in the lane came from a 5-11 sophomore walk-on who entered the day with a career scoring average of 0.8.
“You grow up in your backyard with your hoop, dreaming of playing against the No. 1 team, last second shot, shooting it,” Alex Barlow said later. “But not in my wildest dream did I think it would be a reality.”
What’s not to love about these guys? The Atlantic 10 ought to be glad to have them. But for how long?
OK, this wasn’t March. “It’s a big game for us. That’s the No. 1 team in the country,” guard Rotnei Clarke noted. “But this is a game in December.”
Still. This was Indiana, king of the state. Butler was playing five miles from campus, but might as well have been trying to run an offense on Indiana coach Tom Crean’s driveway, so Hoosier-heavy was the Bankers Life Fieldhouse audience.
Pay attention, New Big East, Here is what you get with the Bulldogs. One part fairy tale. One part brass knuckles.
They never run out of ways to leave our jaws on the floor. Barlow’s heroics are only the latest. No one ever heard of him before Saturday, but he’s all Butler.
“Go into Hinkle (Fieldhouse) … [For more on New Catholic league should take notice after Butler's upset, click here.]